Review Detail

3.6 3
Young Adult Fiction 1070
That Time I Joined the Circus
Overall rating
Writing Style
Am I too old to run away and join the circus?! I've only been to the circus once, and I don’t think I particularly even liked it that much, but I LOVE a circus story for some reason. Water for Elephants and The Night Circus both really got to me.

Lexi (or Xandra, or X, depending on who you ask) has lost everyone in her life. She also hates her mom. Like, really hates her. But she needs to find her and heard she was working the Europa circus, so Lexi gets on a bus hoping to find her mom. And that’s going to take a little longer than she thinks. She makes some new friends and kisses a few boys before her ex-BFF shows up and turns that all upside down.

I really liked that Lexi had to make the all of the decisions regarding her life and her future herself, and that she made them for herself and not for any of the boys she was smooching. I also really disliked three things, and they impacted my rating:

The R word. In the first chapter. I contemplated not reading any further, and if I hadn’t received the book to review I probably wouldn’t have finished it (I’m glad I did finish it, but I really hope that got edited out).
Gypsy gets used A LOT. It’s actually a racist term. This is something that I only learned in the last year or so, and I don’t think it’s commonly known/thought of as being racist, and yet it is. Romani is also used as a description, so I’m not sure why that couldn’t be used every time? I hope these get edited out as well.
Not specific to this book, but almost every time a character is supposed to be a music snob or be really into music...they like terrible music. In this case, some of it is okay, but the horribleness shines through. I just couldn’t make sense of it – Lexi’s dad was a super cool DJ and her mom is a performer, yet she listens to some really crappy stuff and talks about it like we’re supposed to be impressed? I don’t get it.

That Time I Joined the Circus is a great choice if you think more books should take place at the circus.
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